Having signed quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick during his final year as head coach of the Buffalo Bills in 2009, Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator Dick Jauron is well aware of the skills the eight-year veteran brings to the football field.
After dropping the regular-season opener, 48-28, against the New York Jets on the road, Fitzpatrick led the Bills to a 35-17 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs at Ralph Wilson Stadium last Sunday.
“He’s a smart guy, but quarterbacks are pretty smart people,” Jauron said Thursday. “He’s a very competitive guy and he’s a talented guy. He’s not the tallest quarterback, but he’s not short either. He’s very strong, (a) very strong runner. He can run the ball and he will run the ball. He has done a really good job, a very good job for them. They’ve done a nice job with him too.”
This season, Fitzpatrick has completed 28 of 51 attempts for 373 yards with five touchdowns against three interceptions.
In the win over the Chiefs, Fitzpatrick completed 10 of 19 attempts for 178 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. He had a 120.1 quarterback rating and his longest pass, a 49-yarder to Stevie Johnson, went for a touchdown.
The Bills have not allowed a sack of Fitzpatrick this season.
“They’re experienced,” Jauron said of Buffalo’s offensive linemen. “They’re a line that plays well together. Their scheme is a solid scheme. They do a very good job with their scheme.
“The ball comes out fast and Ryan is pretty accurate with the ball. He’s smart. He knows what you’re trying to do and he gets the ball out of his hands when he should. When he has the time, he will hold it and he will take some shots. It comes out on a nice rhythm a lot of the time and he can run. He can move.”
While the Bills have not allowed a sack in two games, the Browns have registered eight in losses to the Philadelphia Eagles and Cincinnati Bengals.
The Browns sacked Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton six times, three by linebacker D’Qwell Jackson.
“We’re better,” Jauron said. “We are a better defense up front. We’re deeper. I think we’re faster. I believe we’re tougher than we were. D’Qwell’s very active. I think it’s a combination of those two things. We gave up too many big plays a week ago, but we played tight coverage. We try to be on people and take away the easy throws if we can, for the most part. I think it’s all worked that way, but up front we’re better.”